Katrantzou, will sit alongside the panel’s chair Sarah Mower and co-chair Caroline Rush, BFC’s CEO, as well as other fashion industry names including Topshop’s creative director Kate Phelan, Ruth Chapman from Matches, Browns’ buying director Laura Larbalestier, and fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell.
As a graduate of both the BFC’s NewGen and Fashion Forward initiatives, Grecian born Katrantzou has been called the “ideal poster-girl for how much an original talent can achieve through the scheme," by Mower.
“Mary started out selling just a handful of printed shift dresses with NewGen at the first London Showroom in Paris in 2009 - now she exports all over the world,” added Mower. “She will add the invaluable perspective of someone who knows exactly what it's like, and what it takes, to be a young entrepreneurial designer.”
Commenting on joining the panel, Katrantzou added: "I could not have managed to get where I am today without the support of the BFC and the NewGen Scheme. They gave me the opportunity to pick up prestigious stockists such as Joyce and Colette from my first season. NewGen is an unparalleled scheme and it is an honour to be included on the panel."
Mary Katrantzou joins BFC NewGen selection panelThe addition of Katrantzou to the panel is also to help during the mentoring, where the selection committee forms mentoring support groups for the NewGen designers, alongside a series of focused seminars and 1:1 workshops delivered by the BFC on all aspects of running a fashion business, to assist the designers as they build their own infrastructure and skills.
“Now that we have a home-grown designer of the calibre of Mary Katrantzou on our mentoring team, those who reach the short list of NewGen will come out armed with a uniquely valuable set of pointers, and sustained support, if they win," commented Mower.
Katrantzou first received NewGen, sponsored by Topshop, support for her spring/summer 2009 collection, and did so for six seasons until she was joined the Fashion Forward initiative. The NewGen scheme has also helped designers including Christopher Kane, Roksanda Ilincic, Meadham Kirchhoff and Jonathan Saunders, and most recently Simone Rocha, Sister by Sibling and Sophia Webster.
Image: Mary Katrantzou